May 8th until May 11th were the dates for this year’s Aruba EMEA Atmosphere event at Disneyland Paris. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about this one, as this would be the first Atmosphere event since the completion of the integration of Aruba and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise organisation. But boy, how wrong can a skeptic be: The Aruba team knocked it out of the park!
From the introduction video before the first keynote until the last one-on-one before catching the train back to Rotterdam, this was a great partner and end-user event. SecureLink attended Atmosphere’17 with five team members from The Netherlands office, three colleagues from the Belgium office and we brought five customers with us (from three different verticals).
So why are we so enthusiastic?
The keynotes were inspirational, visionary, educational, energetic and, believe or not, fun to attend. This reminds me, I need to subscribe myself to Wired Magazine. Their speaker had an excellent keynote and story.
As we have been an Aruba partner since 2008, we know these guys trust their products and solutions (and so do us). But presenting not one, but two live controller failovers on stage while 1600+ attendees in the room were using the WiFi, they must have had some big thrills.
To go even further, above and beyond as some would say, they also performed a live AOS upgrade on the Atmosphere WiFi environment, again with no hiccups. Now, we are more confident that an Aruba Mobility infrastructure is the network infra for the most critical and demanding environments.
Aruba AOS 8 has some great high-availability and resiliency features. The flexible deployment model also makes it easier to provide the customer with the right fit for their environment.
As a Cyber Security Integrator with Security in our DNA, it was also good to see the additional focus on security in the Aruba solution portfolio, vision and strategy. The live Niara (a UEBA solution) demo with some integrated humor from the enthusiastic presenters was a good example of this.
With all the security threats going around, coming towards us, this is the next step. By itself, any UEBA solution, would (again) only add another point solution, the integration with ClearPass and the Helpdesk system is what it should be all about. This is possibly a great fit within our Cyber Security vision and Managed Security Services.
Another interesting topic (that we, as well as our customers, have been looking forward to) was the management enhancements. Aruba is taking the right steps to switch from a traditional management system to a management platform.
Not just a point solution on premise, but a flexible deployment model – be it in the private cloud, public cloud, on-premise or a hybrid deployment model. It’s all coming our way – providing us with more flexible options to design a management platform – which is a fit for the customer environment and IT vision towards the (near) future.
We joined the partner council for the first time this year – which was good to sit together with peers and have discussions while sharing the best practices with each other!
Our customers were enthusiastic about the keynotes, demos, but above all the AirHeads break-out sessions. Was everything fantastic, spot-on and to the point? No, of course not. That is not the case for any single vendor. There is always room for improvement.
That is what Aruba was exactly open for – from engineers, to product managers, and to senior VP’s. They were all approachable and open for questions, discussions, and feedback. Believe me, we did provide some feedback because we always raise the bar for ourselves and especially for our customers.
The first follow-up actions is taking place from the Atmosphere’17. The future is WiFi and it will get better. Oh, and as a gentle reminder to the Aruba EMEA Atmosphere team, remember this one.
C.U. next year at Atmosphere 2018 – The year of 10 years of partnership.